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ABC World News Now

News/Business. Rob Nelson, Paula Faris. Global news. New. (CC)

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02:20:00

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Abc 26, Syria 19, Us 19, New York 14, Afghanistan 13, Pepsi 12, U.s. 12, Michigan 11, Assad 9, Jenni Rivera 9, Florida 8, Willis 8, Bruno 7, Colorado 7, Los Angeles 7, Honolulu 6, Rob Nelson 6, John Boehner 6, Jenni 6, Hollywood 6,
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  ABC    ABC World News Now    News/Business. Rob Nelson,  
   Paula Faris. Global news. New. (CC)  

    December 11, 2012
    1:40 - 4:00am PST  

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of the fiscal cliff and he's apparently going to stay at his job. >> even with that cliff, i think you'll be all right, dude. congratulations. coming up after the break, her death was a huge loss to the music world and fans throughout the world. we'll go live to los angeles to talk to our media consultant. about what jenni rivera meant to the music. but first, an amazing breakthrough. how researchers are using hiv to help fight cancer. it's coming up on "world news now." "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellula cellular.
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a dramatic new direction in fighting cancer is now raising hopes of finding a way to eliminate the disease all together. >> this is just unbelievable. doctors are using the virus that causes aids to reprogram patient's immune systems. chief medical editor dr. richard besser explains. >> reporter: emma's leukemia seemed undefeatable, no treatments left, and she was only 6. then in april, a last gamble using hiv to cure, not kill. doctors took out millions of emma's disease fighting white blood cells and used a genetically altered hiv virus to
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get into human immune systems to change those cells to target cancer fighters. they went back in and destroyed the cancer. dr. steven gruff is a pioneer. using hiv to infiltrate the hiv system. >> all of the things that make the hiv virus to cause disease have been removed from this particular virus, so its only purpose is to put a gene into a cell. for me, it's incredibly exciting. >> reporter: here's emma, just eight months later. doctors can't find any remaining cancer cells. >> she is in complete remission. she has no leukemia in her body, by even the most sensitive tests. >> she has a ton of energy. she's doing wonderful right now. >> this treatment was a miracle. >> reporter: emma is counting the days until christmas. her parents are busy counting their blessings. the treatment does wipe out part of the immune system, so she has to receive medicine once a week, to prevent infection. but she's feeling strong and
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back in the second grade. dr. richard besser, abc news, new york. >> talk about the miracle of modern medicine. i can't think of no better example than that. it goes beyond blood cancers and used for prostate cancer and breast cancer, as well. >> and they're pledging $20 million for further research at the university -- penn university to bring the treatment to the market. but unbelievable. if you think of something as negative as hiv and they're using hiv to -- it's unbelievable that they would use that to -- >> you look at that little girl, $20 million, well spent. amazing. still ahead, fans of the late singer jenni rivera are in mourning as her family shares their emotions for the first time with the media. up next, we'll go to miami beach where rivera's death hit especially hard. you're watching "world news now."
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latin latin superstar jenni rivera had millions of fans, and they're all now mourning the loss after she died in a plane crash on sunday. but her family, they are suffering the most. >> later today, they'll set out to mexico where her plane went down, but they are holding on to the slimmest of hopes that they'll find her alive. >> we thank god for the life he's given my sister, for all the triumphs and the successes she's had. we expect there will be more in the future. >> that was one of jenni's four brothers in long beach, california where she was born. she has one sister and she was the mother of five and the grandmother of two. >> large family. so sad. and of course, she was a superstar of latin music. but she was about to cross over big-time into the main stream with songs in english and a network tv show right here in
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fact on abc. >> joining us now to talk about why fans loved her so much is our media consultant bruno. welcome back. what was so tragic about the timing of her death? >> the timing couldn't have been worse, paula. she was about to cross over into the major leagues by doing this sitcom with abc. abc announced it four days ago. so she was really poised to go to that next big level. unfortunately, we'll never know what could have been. >> and bruno, hearing the story break over the weekend, it is sadly reminiscent of selina and another talent cut short. why was she such an important figure in latin music do you think? >> she was by far the latin female singer of the moment. she was a songwriter, she had her own reality show, a coach on "the voice mexico."
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she had her own clothing line, perfume line, talk show and poised to do her own sitcom. so there wasn't anybody bigger in the latin music market, especially a female. and she really was one of these self-made american stories, dream come true, daughter of immigrants, who actually worked her tail off to become this humongously popular artist. so she embodied the american dream. >> and she was just delving right into american programming. she had three reality shows where she opened everybody up to her family, broke so many barriers. how broad was her involvement? >> oh, gosh, jenni was involved in every aspect of her career. she always said that she had this grand plan to become this very, very popular artist from early on in her career. and she actually managed to make it. we talk about selina 20 years
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ago passing away, people still talk about selina. yesterday one of the tweets i read, a star has died, a legend has been born today. so true about jenni. >> thank you, bruno, for joining us this morning. we appreciate that. fans around the world remembering jenni rivera, gone way too soon. >> we'll be right back. i love how clean my mouth is after a dental cleaning... i just wish i could keep it this way.
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we don't let frequent heartburn come between us and what we love. so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. finally this half hour, superstar quarterback tom brady and his wife have announced the arrival of their new little girl. >> both mom and dad are talking about parenthood and the home birth they chose for their new super baby. >> reporter: this may be the first glimpse of tom brady and his wife's brand new baby
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daughter, vivian lake. but what's really got people talking is that the newborn was delivered not in a hospital, but in the comfort of the couple's boston home on wednesday. we feel so lucky to have been able to experience the miracle of birth once again, and are forever grateful for the opportunity to be the parents of another little angel. >> i grew up in a house of three sisters. so i think it's great for my boys to have a girl in the house, just to understand at least a little bit of what makes a woman tick. >> reporter: little vivian's birth wasn't the first at-home delivery. their son benjamin was born at home in the family's bathtub, something she describes as a natural experience in a documentary. >> my job as a mom that i felt at that moment was to just breathe, relax, and allow my body and trust my body to do what it knows, what naturally knows what to do. >> reporter: while doctors say only about 1% of births happen
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at home, more and more couples are foregoing the hospital. in part due to celebrity influence. >> it looks like it's starting to be more popular. celebrity gisele, ricki lake, cindy crawford are making this more popular. >> at this moment, i thought i could take it. i just felt so empowered and i felt sode ready, you can throw anything at me, i'm ready. you can throw anything at me and i can take it, i can do it. >> reporter: still, doctors caution staying home isn't always the best option. >> people have to understand they're not celebrities, so they have to have a good backup system and a good plan if something goes wrong. >> reporter: abc news, new york. >> i know people who have tried this and got in a predicament where they ended up going to the hospital. but i think it's great. my sister had all of her kids naturally with no drugs. i wasn't so fortunate. both of my children got stuck. >> thanks for that.
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>> i was thinking about having it in the woman's bathroom here if i ever get pregnant again. natural experience. >> come on, now. this isn't the prom. that's the news for this half hour. follow us on facebook. we'll be back with more on abc, next.
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this morning on new "world news now," secrets from inside syria. a defector says the world has reason to fear chemical weapons there. >> we are getting chilling details of the deadly arsenal amassed by the assad regime. it is tuesday, december 11. >> from abc news, this is "world news now."
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good morning. i'm paula faris. >> and i'm rob nelson. in a moment, what that one-time insider from syria's chemical weapons program is saying now. if you weren't nervous about the situation before, after listening to this guy, plenty of reason for the world to be nervous what's going on inside syria. but also this half hour, the ultimate sacrifice. the member of the navy s.e.a.l. team 6 killed while freeing an american doctor from the taliban has been identified. we'll find out more about this fallen hero. tom hanks is standing up for heroes. how the hollywood star is helping an army staff sergeant who just returned from afghanistan. >> very cool story. it was a prank in the best sense of the word. and later, beyonce scores a $50 million deal. a sweet payday from a soft drink company. all the details coming up. >> keep reading.
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>> coming up in the -- whew, in "the skinny." we'll share some good beyonce news this morning. >> i don't think she's really worried. >> she's doing her thing. but first, some very telling words from those who left syria's regime. one defector is saying, the revolution will be victorious. >> another is confirming the worst fears about the regime's potential use of deadly chemical weapons. his words come amid some big rebel advances. >> reporter: the rebels have taken the fight to syria's biggest cities, battling assad's strong holds, his palace in damascus, while fighters have overrun one of the largest military bases outside the city of aleppo. american officials fear the likelihood of assad using chemical weapons is rising. they say they have proof they've been prepared. we went to meet a man who shares
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those fears. driving along a dark back country road near turkey's border with syria. he told us that until 2008, he was a chief of staff in the chemical weapons program. he said he worked on the defense side, in charge of preparing troops for dealing with attacks and safety equipment. what specific chemical weapons does the assad regime have? he said they have mustard gas, along with a highly toxic nerve agent, vx, sarin and tabun. the regime has started to fall and deteriorate, he argues. it's highly possible assad will start using chemical weapons to kill his own people. >> i think it's a last-ditch effort and one they don't want to use but are considering it. >> reporter: if the regime crumbles, the u.s. fears the weapons could be transferred to hezbollah or fall into groups like al qaeda. knowing what you do about the facilities, the security, do you worry that these weapons will fall into the wrong hands? yes, he said.
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there's an extremely big concern they'll fall into other hands. he said he was interviewed by the cia when he left syria. now he's pleading for money and weapons from the u.s. so he can lead a brigade of fighters back into syria to secure those sites. alex marquardt, abc news, on the turkey-syria border. >> the major general gave an interview back in september. so several weeks back and says during his time there, we were in a serious discussion about the use of chemical weapons, including how we would use them and in what areas. we discussed this as a last resort. such as if the regime lost control of important areas such as aleppo. so not that we have them, but details have been discussed. >> he's the second in charge. he says that assad's forces are already spraying pesticides and dropping white phosphorous. claims that were also made by the opposition. but the reason the whole world should be concerned about this is because if it gets into the
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wrong hands, these chemical weapons are so easily transportable. you're thinking hezbollah could get them in their hands and anybody that's friendly with syria at this point. so that is why -- >> again, if you're wondering why we should care, because the president said clearly use of chemical weapons is the red line and if assad acts on that, that could potentially draw our troops into the region. so something to keep a serious eye on. the navy s.e.a.l. killed in that raid to free an american doctor in afghanistan has been identified. nicolas checque had been a member of s.e.a.l. team 6 for the past five years. he died sunday after being shot in the head during the rescue mission. the former hostage, dilip joseph, will likely return to the u.s. by this weekend. is another day of washington watching and waiting to see if the two sides are any closer to a deal to head off huge tax increases and deep spending cuts at the start of next year.
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president obama and house speaker john boehner are keeping tight lipped about their closed door weekend talks. but in michigan monday, the president had a warning about going over this now infamous fiscal cliff. >> consumer spending is going to go down. that means you've got less customers. businesses get fewer profits. they hire fewer workers. you go in a downward spiral. >> speaker boehner says he's still waiting for the president to identify spending cuts that he's willing to make to help deal with the nation's debt crisis. thousands of demonstrators are expected to gather at the michigan state capital today in protest of a right-to-work measure. the legislation would bar unions from requiring non-union workers to pay those union fees. democrats met with the governor to urge a veto. and carollers gathered singing modified christmas songs in protest of the proposal. president obama said the legislation is about giving workers the right to work for
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less money. of course, the president enjoying a lot of support from the unions. if this does indeed happen, michigan will become the 24th right-to-work state. but governor rick schneider is backed by a full house and senate of republicans. so this could be easily passed. >> you're seeing a conservative movement to get a better handle on unions. and deal with them better. but the thing about michigan, it's considered to be the birthplace of the nation's modern labor movement. so if it happens there, it could happen in other states and put into motion a domino effect. we saw the wisconsin battle. ohio has dealt with these labor issues. so changing winds in the world of labor and michigan, if they go this way, that would be a big move here. some people argue it makes sense to give workers to right to choose if they want to be in the union, not just be obligated. some bravo now to a chicken restaurant manager in kansas city. edward turner was on duty when three would-be robbers came into
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his store sunday night. one pulled a gun and demanded some cash. turner grabbed the gun and the suspects beat a hasty retreat. turner said he's just glad the gun is off the streets and could not be used in another robbery attempt. brave manager there. severe weather, including a possible tornado, has damaged homes, mobile homes -- damaged dozens of mobile homes in central florida. the storm hit around dinnertime yesterday as tornado warnings popped up over the state. residents had what appeared to be a tornado touchdown for 30 seconds, ripped off roofs and smashed windows. >> could be more severe weather in central florida with wind gusts of 70 miles per hour. upstate new york and new england will start the day with rain, snow mix and seattle will see rain. >> temperatures in the upper midwest are rebounding from that extreme cold. minneapolis is warmer than usual at 36. denver is going to be near 60 after a weekend in the 20s.
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honolulu and miami are the only 80s on our map. the only 80s. >> sounds nice. it's been a rough basketball season so far for the men of appalachian state university. they've won one game, lost seven. >> they beat michigan back in 2007, a game that will go down in infamy. so they have that. which is nice. but this might be the low point in sunday's loss to western carolina. look at what's being called the worst free throw ever. was that tipped? >> a little short there. look at that again. there it goes. wait for it, wait for it again. now, to his credit, he's hit 2 of his 5 foul shots so far this season. but that is truly, truly horrible. >> looks like the saints. >> oh, willis, won't let it go. >> the saints would get it near the rim, just not make it. >> especially since their quarterback is from new orleans.
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just saying. >> giants! >> i love his subtly. >> and so soft. >> he's a gentle soul. >> willis would make that free throw, probably. >> no doubt! >> granny style. >> exactly. >> heave-ho. okay. coming up, a soldier's surprise of a different story. how a well-known actor surprised a vet to help him achieve his dreams. but first, lebanon levy is the newest tough guy in town. this story is wild. inside the "amish mafia." yeah, amish mafia. you're watching "world news now."
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♪ ♪ i woke up this morning, got myself a gun ♪ man, i miss that show. man, i miss that show. one of my favorites. >> you wouldn't think that tony sparano had much in common with an amish farmer, but a reality tv show claims they're not so different after all. >> "amish mafia" follows a group of men who impose law and order
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on an amish community in lancaster, pennsylvania. yeah, i just said that. abc's linsey davis has the story. >> reporter: one of the already secret amish communities most tightly kept secrets is about to be exposed in the latest reality show series "amish mafia." >> i make sure the peace is being kept and everybody is obeying the rules. >> reporter: lebanon levi leads a powerful team of men that are part law and order, part sopranos, charged with resolving disputes, dishing out justice. >> are you here to arrest me or do something about it? >> reporter: and enforcing the laws of lancaster, pennsylvania's amish community, which had been best known for its quaint lifestyle, hand made goods and its rejection of modern luxuries such as cars and electricity, until now. >> here's the computer and ipads for games. >> reporter: there's already an appetite for viewers for drunk party kids and self-proclaimed rednecks. now networks are banking on the
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amish to be the next big thing for reality tv. >> reality television and the amish is a match made in heaven. >> reporter: national geographic's "amish out of order" and tlc's "breaking amish" have also focused on the wilder side of amish life. >> it a controversial concept, and reality feeds on controversy. it's outrageous. it's mysterious. it's unexpected. >> reporter: the network's website acknowledges most of the show is re-enactments, but according to levi, all the stories are the god's honest truth. linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> hope you caught that last word re-enactment. so you're not actually watching it. but they insist the stories are true. but you're not actually watching it unfold. >> it's reality, it's rob's reality with lebanon levi in your household, isn't it?
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>> that's what i'm talking about. now we're talking. >> who are you paying for a hit? who are you taking out? >> taking out willis, clearly. he's talking trash about the giants/saints game. >> i would just like an italian sausage, please. did you see the sign? i'm hungry. when we -- when we come back, he's back in "the skinny." >> coming up on "world news now."
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♪ willis is back. can you tell? willis is back. can you tell? here we go. >> no. >> apparently, according to "the new york post," demi moore has been dumped by her 26-year-old boyfriend. whose name we just love to say. apparently vito has had enough -- he said peace out. we saw those pictures last week of her partying in miami. and apparently he's -- it was a distraction and he's a business guy, got his art galleries going on. he's like enough of this and let her go. according to radar, even her daughters are worried about her behavior.
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keep in mind, back in february she checked into rehab, she was back in the hospital. she's had a rough 2012, so maybe this wasn't the best time to get into a relationship. so he said, sayonara to demi moore. it's a loss here at "the skinny." >> it is a verb. anyway, so beyonce, she rules the world, like all of us women do. she just scored a $50 million endorsement deal from pepsi, and she's going to have her pretty little face on a can. a can of pepsi. a can of the drink. come on, do you always have to objectify women? >> no, just her. >> she's not necessarily going
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to be in pepsi commercials. pepsi is going to move traditional advertising campaigns, they're going to back her in any creative project of her choosing. she can have any number of multiple outlets to tap into. she's looking forward to it and i know you can't wait to buy her can. >> $50 million. >> you can't wait to put your lips on a can of pepsi. >> that's 50 million bucks for a face on a can. are you going to buy that can of pepsi, willis? >> all right. steven colbert back in the news. there's a senate vacancy in south carolina. according to a poll by public policy polling, colbert is at the top of the wish list for possible senate replacements for mr. demint who announced he's stepping down. he has 20% of the vote so far. the governor, nikki haley, has said look, you're not going to be the one.
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but it's got to be encouraging for him to have so many poll numbers in his favor. it's not going to happen, but it's fun to talk about. so congrats, steven. >> last night i went with a girlfriend to go see richard marks to a quaint little winery in new york city. sunday night i should say. had a great time. richard marks is there. i swear we knew every song. after the show, he's like, did you know hugh jackman was sitting behind you? you know hugh jackman. i love him. i stalked him. just like you stalked alicia keys. i said i'm a member of the news organization, but i've got to get my pic. and there it is. >> and now there's a restraining order. [ mother bear ] you're not using too much are you, hon?
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[ coughs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. vicks nyquil -- powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ ♪ tens of th tens of thousands of service men and women will be coming home from afghanistan as the war winds down and will deserve a chance to work at what they love. >> this is why this is our favorite story of the day, because a network of mentors is
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stepping up to help them, sometimes even beyond their wildest dreams. abc's bob woodruff has the story. >> reporter: 32-year-old gabriel posey, a staff sergeant in the army, just returned from the sands of afghanistan. but now here, in los angeles, he's about to get a huge surprise. what he knows is that he's been matched up with a mentor to help him get a start in the field he's dreamed about much of his life, screen writing. what he doesn't know is that his mentor is one of the biggest names in hollywood. >> your brothers were killed in combat. >> this is one of the great things about people in the military, they're good at solving problems. those people are worth their weight in precious metals. >> what will be the number one thing you'll tell him about getting into the film industry? >> okay. you have got to say i know who i am, i know what my kills are, and i'm in this for the long haul. perseverance. it all comes down to that.
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>> reporter: i told gabriel his mentor wasn't well known. just someone with connections. i lied. i'm going to show you who this is. i think you'll be very happy. >> oh! wow! no way. i love tom hanks. >> gabriel, how are you? what a pleasure. >> an honor. >> but you've got to call me tom. >> reporter: so with a pot of tea, the sergeant got the chance to learn from this writer, actor, producer, and more. >> have you ever tasted failure while working and how did you deal with it? >> oh, yeah. you as a writer are going to write things that no one is going to get or understand. and you cannot let that get in your way. >> reporter: now he's making plans to move to hollywood to stay in touch with his mentor, and hopefully to fulfill his life-long dream. bob woodruff, abc news, los angeles. >> i'm in the right place, tell you that much. >> you're in a very good place, my friend. tom hanks with the reputation as one of the world's nicest guys.
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despite his incredible fame and talent. >> talk about great connections, too. >> are you kidding me? one of the best of the best on the a-list. so congratulations to him. >> almost as close as having rob nelson as your mentor. >> real close. i'm going to take out the trash. this is abc's "world news high speed internet at home on our newly expanded advanced digital network, a connection you can count on. introducing at&t u-verse high speed internet with more speed options, reliability and wi-fi hot spots than ever. go to our website below to get u-verse high speed internet for just 14.95 a month for 12 months with a one-year price guarantee. it's all the speed you need all at a great price. our newly expanded advanced digital network gives you more of what you enjoy online. and with at&t, our wireless gateway turns your home into a private wi-fi hot spot that connects your wi-fi devices and can even save on your smart phone data usage at home. go to our website below to get at&t u-verse
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this morning on new "world news now," profile encourage. this morning on new "world news now," profile encourage. the navy s.e.a.l. who died saving a colorado doctor from the taliban has been identified. >> the doctor's family is extending condolences to the family of that 28-year-old hero who gave his life in the daring rescue in eastern afghanistan. it is tuesday, december 11.
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>> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> good morning, everybody. i'm rob nelson. >> and that light going off is the realization that christmas is two weeks from today. >> that's it. >> i'm paula faris. and i need to get shopping. in a moment, that member of the navy's elite s.e.a.l. team 6 that was killed in the afghanistan rescue raid. 28-year-old old, with so much experience in so many dangerous places. and also, a life sentence just handed out for the murder of a little girl back in 1957. how justice was finally served after 55 years. >> better late than never. also ahead, extreme makeover kid edition. the 9-year-old who slimmed down from almost 200 pounds. her weight loss story could help millions of other children who are struggling. we hear these stats about childhood obesity in this country. it's why the first lady has made such a big issue.
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so this could be something that helps a lot of folks out there. if you think you're busy at the holidays, try shipping 19 million packages in a single day. how fedex is getting things where they have to go and giving santa claus a run for his money. >> i don't envy those guys this time of year. i see those guys whizzing through manhattan, those guys earn their pay. but first, family and friends are remembering that fallen warrior who died in a daring raid. >> correspondent martha raddatz has the latest on how the raid went down. >> reporter: nicolas checque was just 28 years old. but for much of the last decade, he had been a navy s.e.a.l., the last five years part of the elite s.e.a.l. team 6. in iraq, afghanistan, wherever he was needed, he carried out dangerous missions. just like the one that took his life on sunday. it was just before 3:00 a.m. when he and his team, along with
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afghan commandos, loaded into helicopters and headed in the darkness to a remote mountain top location in eastern afghanistan. down below, taliban fighters were holding dilip joseph, a relief worker and father of four from colorado, kidnapped, leaving a rural medical clinic just days before. the hard charging s.e.a.l. team moved in quickly to a group of huts where joseph was being held. gunfire broke out. joseph was rescued but the young navy s.e.a.l. took a bullet to the head. the decision to go in so quickly was made by the top commander in afghanistan, general john allen, who thought joseph was in immediate danger. >> the race was on, because at that point, they knew if they couldn't get him before he was taken over the border into pakistan, that it would be almost impossible to rescue him. >> reporter: there have been
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hundreds of successful missions by the s.e.a.l.s, including the raid that killed osama bin laden. but the missions remain unpredictable and dangerous. as defense secretary leon panetta said -- the special operators knew they were putting their lives on the line. the former hostage, dilip joseph, will return to the u.s. by this weekend. his family issued a statement extending their deepest condolences and gratitude to all those involved in the mission. martha raddatz, abc news, washington. now to a brazen murder here in new york. a man killed execution style in broad daylight. the victim has been identified as 31-year-old brandon woodard. he had been staying at a nearby hotel. witnesses say the killer shot him in the back of the head at close range before getting into the passenger seat of a waiting car. so basically it looks from all accounts that a hit was taken out in one of the busiest places in manhattan. >> blocks from here. >> yeah, just blocks from here.
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but brandon woodard he, according to friends and cops, was very smart and part of the fiber of african-american culture in los angeles. l.a. prep school grad, attended law school. just an infectious smile. why a hit was taken out in a busy part of manhattan remains unclear. >> apparently the gunman in this case was waiting 40 minutes for him. he was from l.a. but here in new york on vacation. here's the question. if you're on vacation, how does someone know your schedule enough to wait in a car for 40 minutes to know the exact location you're going to be in broad daylight and shoot you in the back of the head? i'm sure it will come out. a lot of questions about exactly what went down, why this guy was a target and what he was doing here in new york. >> just frightening something of this magnitude could happen in broad daylight. >> 2:00 in the afternoon. there were cameras around, witnesses. they will catch the person who did this. so we'll see. in other news, a former police officer has been sentenced to life in prison more than 50 years after kidnapping and killing a little girl in
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northern illinois. 73-year-old jack mccullough was convicted in one of the oldest unsolved crimes to make it to trial. prosecutors say he was 17 when he abducted and murdered the 7-year-old back in 1957. >> even after 55 years, people can be brought to justice. >> our family just wants to express our deep, deep sadness that this tragedy had to go on for so long. >> the case was reopened after his half sister told police about a deathbed confession from their mother. he still insists he's innocent and plans to appeal. accused florida shooter george zimmerman is due back in court this morning. attorneys plan to ask a judge to let him remove his gps monitor. so that he can travel freely throughout the state. he's stayed largely out of public view since being charged with second degree murder in the shooting of trayvon martin.
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colorado is now the second state after washington to allow the use of marijuana without a doctor's recommendation. it became legal just yesterday when colorado's governor placed a voter approved amendment into the state's constitution. a task force is now being appointed to work out the legal and logistical details in all this. and the u.s. attorney in colorado says the justice department is reviewing the situation, noting importantly here that pot is still illegal under federal law. we saw two or three states pass this and that's the question here, will the feds get involved and interject themselves? don't know yet. >> neither states or the executive branch can nullify a statute passed by congress. no secret china is coming on strong as a global power. but a new u.s. intelligence report predicts how far and fast china will move. >> the national intelligence council says by 2030, just 17 years from now, china will likely have passed the u.s. to become the world's largest
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economy. the report says that overall, asia will top north america and europe with population, military spending and investing in technology. >> and one of the bright spots for the u.s., we are expected to become energy independent and the world's largest exporter by the year 2030. people talk about china and their booming economy over there, and this quantifies just how fast they are coming on. pretty amazing. >> the world's population is projected to rise to 8.3 billion from 7.1 billion. and demand for food will go up 35%, and demand for water, 40% more than current water supplies, making water a likely cause of regional conflict, particularly in south asia and the middle east. water and food. there's not going to be enough for us. >> what a bright future. this morning, the streets of cairo promise to be packed today
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with protests for the egyptian capital. two separate million-man marches are planned as supporters and opponents of president mohamed morsi demonstrate ahead of a saturday vote on a measure giving morsi sweeping new powers. they are digging out in the upper midwest after the first major snowstorm of the season. some areas got slammed with more than a foot and a half of the white stuff. that's good news to the folks in coleman, wisconsin. they got almost no snow last year. but now snowmobile enthusiasts and other outdoor types can't wait for those trails to open up. i like snow. >> you can have it. here's a look at your weather today. blustery in fargo and minneapolis. could see flurries. showers along the southeast coast. severe weather is a threat in central florida. sunny in the southwest. >> 15 degrees cooler in the northeast with new york city in the 40s. dallas looks very pleasant at 55. kansas city, in the mid 40s. last week we noted it wasn't
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looking good when it came to the nhl's ongoing labor dispute. and now breaking news, still ain't looking good. in fact, the league yesterday canceled all of its nhl games through december 30th. more than 40% of the regular hockey season has been wiped out due to the league's lockout. the league and the players could resume talks this week. but that's a bummer. we're expecting to hear a decision in the latest round of player appeals stemming from the nfl's bounty scandal. four former members of the new orleans saints are involved. the former nfl commissioner has been investigating and any potential punishment he announces will be delayed roughly a week so a judge in new orleans can rule on several motions, including one to throw out any suspensions. >> could have used that bounty on sunday. >> hello. >> that was ugly. speaking of football, last night's patriots-texans game was close until kickoff. that's when tom brady and the pats destroyed houston. brady threw four td
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passes and new england led 28-0 before houston got on the board. >> >> the texans take a long flight back to houston after getting hammered 42-14. new england has now won seven straight, but the texans have the afc east best record by one game. >> i feel your pain, houston. coming up next, santa's busiest helpers are going to follow the path of a pie and how it makes it to its holiday destination. but first, how a little girl is proving to be an inspiration for anyone who needs to shed a few pounds. that's coming up. ♪ "world news weather" brought to you by lifestyle lift. [ female announcer ] think coarse facial hair removal has to be painful?
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losing weight is pretty tough for adults. but for a 9-year-old who was almost 200 pounds, it can be crushing. >> but breanna lost nearly a third of her size with hard work and tough love from her parents. gma anchor george stephanopoulos has her story. >> reporter: by the time she was 9 years old, breanna was 186 pounds. the extra weight made it difficult for her to breathe and move around. she soon became a target for bullies. >> everybody at school would call me names. they would call me fatty. they would call me fat head. >> reporter: her weight gain began when she was a baby. by kindergarten, she was 100
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pounds. >> i was playing with my friends, if they were running, i couldn't keep up. >> you want some tomato basel? >> yes. >> reporter: so her mom decided to take matters into her own hands and designed an exercise routine for her daughter. the entire family began walking a four-mile trail near their home. before long, breanna lost 37 pounds. along with a healthy diet that limits fat to 20 grams a day, she began hitting the treadmill for an hour and 15 minutes every day. she began playing basketball and joined the swim team. >> she inspires me on a daily basis. she is an inspiration to the world and all children who are having weight issues across america that you can do it with a pair of tennis shoes and motivation. it totally changed the course of her whole life. >> reporter: and wait till you see breanna now. are you ready to come out? [ applause ]
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you look fantastic! so you lost what, 66 pounds? how do you feel? >> great. >> i'll bet you do. >> wow, great story. she's not alone. 13 million kids from ages 2 to 19 are obese, according to the cdc. this is a national epidemic. >> she looks like a little girl. she looks so cute. she's in maintenance mode now, but i love what the mom said, a pair of tennis shoes. she wasn't doing anything crazy. changed her diet. >> went walking. >> got involved in athletic activities, swimming. good for her. she's going to feel so much better about herself. >> it may not work for everybody, but find something that does. >> coming up next, santa can't do everything by himself. he needs a little help. >> fedex is moving holiday happiness thousands of miles across this great country. you're watching "world news now."
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♪ santa claus is coming to town, santa claus is coming to town ♪ >> christmas is just two weeks away and for the next 14 days, santa will be getting a lot of help from the u.s. post office u.p.s. and, of course, fedex. >> have you been naughty or nice this year? >> a little of both. >> these shipping elves are taking care of business. ♪ >> reporter: the story of a pie in a box at christmastime. and of the many people who help get it from point a -- >> off to honolulu. >> reporter: to point b. which is the story of fedex, which, like u.p.s. and the u.s. postal service, is how christmas
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gets handled nowadays, even though the postal service can be cheaper, if you're down to the wire, fedex and u.p.s. can save the day with last-minute deliveries. which brings us back to our pie. i explain that i had it in mind to send the pie to my friend and colleague. >> good evening. >> reporter: one-time abc news reporter, now anchoring the news in honolulu, hawaii. distance involved, roughly 6,000 miles. my deadline to get the pie to her, 24 hours. cranberry apple, that's what went into the fedex box. for precious or fragile items, best to leave the packaging to the professionals. and our pie is out the door. for the next few hours, you see that purple line? that's our pie on its journey. headed from memphis, tennessee. why memphis? well, look at this place. this is fedex's global super hub, which at more than 800 acres, feels more like a military base than a shipping facility.
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and with christmas approaching, it's a military base that's gearing up for battle. let's check in on our pie, which they were kind enough to track just for us. it's coming in for a landing soon. so out on the tarmac where it's nonstop on the runways. then our pie is safely on the ground. normally it would be in one of these shipping containers. where is your pie? >> we have your pie right here. >> reporter: for now it's being carried so we can track it through our next stop. they call this the matrix. >> if you stand here 15 minutes, you'll see the world's economy pass before your eyes. >> reporter: it's a whole building functioning as a sorting machine. the incoming packages slide in here. the box, well, once it drops out of sight, into some hidden place of scanners, it gets steered by belts to another building. ten minutes later, it comes down a chute, gets picked up and put into a container. >> off to honolulu. >> reporter: and then it's out to the runway and takeoff.
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and six hours later, landing in hawaii. >> i hope it's something good. oh. >> reporter: and happy holidays. >> thanks, john. >> amazing operation. and amazing life she's living in honolulu. living in paradise. >> did you see that view? almost as nice as this view. almost as nice as this view. when you give a child a toy, it has to work. ♪ make just one someone happy and when it's a toys for tots child, well, what could be more important? so this year, every hasbro toy donated to toys for tots will be powered by duracell. happy holidays. duracell with duralock. trusted everywhere.
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we know what you're up to today. we're not going to fault you if you don't tune in to the show. i guess today is like national baby making day. it should be. studies are showing that september 16, at least in the uk, is the most popular birthday. when you trace it back 40 weeks, because that's how long the
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gestation of a pregnancy is, december 11. more babies will be conceived today than any other day this year, according to new research. it's the most popular month for conception, and the ten most popular birthdays in the uk are in september. they say winter is the more fertile season. we're in better moods, all the winter parties. apparently, there's a physiological effect on your swimmers. apparently your swimmers, sperm quality is higher in the cold. i did not know that. >> really? i would have thought the exact opposite. >> my daughter was conceived right about this time. five years ago. >> you said you wanted more kids. what's on your calendar today? >> not happening. not this year. >> i respect that. weed has been in the news a lot over the past few weeks with all the political stuff going on and approving marijuana. two students at the university of colorado took advantage of bringing food in. so they brought pot brownies to
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their professor and to the class and it did not go well. three victims had to be hospitalized and five classmates are suffering from what you can imagine you would suffer from after pot-laced brownies. the professor thought he was losing consciousness. one girl thought she was going to black out. the other person thought they were going to die. >> how much pot did they put in there? >> it must have been some strong stuff. but they could face multiple felony charges, including assault in the second degree and inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means. these two guys in colorado could face some criminal charges. apparently class did not go well on friday. >> getting baked on the brownies. so certain people will get the white house christmas card this year. on the cover is their dog, bo, with a little twist this year. bo is wearing a scarf. this is a rendering by an artist in des moines. her name is laressa cable.
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she sent her painting to the white house for consideration and she got the call when she was making pizza. called it a surreal moment. and her reward, she gets to go to the white house christmas party. >> bo has the good life. employees did not appreciate this. they put a little extra mayo on the sandwich. folks, don't go to
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this morning on "world news now." silence is golden as all of us wonder if we'll pay more in taxes come the new year. this morning top officials are keeping very quiet about how close that fiscal cliff is getting. >> that's leaving all americans wondering what their budget will look like in just three short weeks. it is tuesday, december 11th. from abc news, this is
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"world news now." good tuesday morning, i'm rob nelson. >> i'm paula faris. we're back together. you are feeling better? >> the sinus infection is clearing up. >> dissipating. >> you had a much better weekend. >> i had a much better excuse for being off. >> the latest on the negotiations to try to avoid the end of year tax hikes in just a moment. but a look at other stories we're following for you. he is being called a fallen hero. we now know more about this young man who bravely gave his life to save a doctor taken hostage in afghanistan. >> such a young guy, but accomplished in his years in the military. joined just a few months after high school. brave guy. did extraordinary work. also this half hour, better known as a virus that can kill, but now hiv may have the ability to cure. we'll meet a girl who is cancer free after a very unusual treatment, a remarkable medical
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story. >> fascinating to say the least. later this morning he's superstar quarterback and she's a supermodel. give me a little child birth pose and sound effect. and their child birth some say super difficult. but having babies at home is increasingly common. how tom brady and gisele are part of a growing trend. she had her first child like this and her second. makes all of us who get epidurals. >> hear that laugh in the background. willis is back with us for this week. this is what he does in his retirement. also talking trash about the giants/saints game over the weekend. >> got that right. >> more of that throughout the morning. but, first, president obama hit the road monday leaving the white house for a blue collar backdrop as he pushes for higher taxes on the wealthiest americans. >> the president's trip to michigan followed his closed door session with john boehner that had speculations swirling as the fiscal cliff deadline draws near. the very latest from washington. hi, karen. >> good morning, rob, good
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morning, paula. aides to president and john boehner say they're not going to do the fiscal cliff negotiation through the media and they're doing a really good job on trying to keep a tight lid on how the negotiations are going. outside detroit, president obama issued a warning of what may happen if middle class tax rates go up. if the nation heads over the fiscal cliff. >> consumer spending will go down. that means you've got less customers. businesses get fewer profits. they hire fewer workers. you go on a downward spiral. >> reporter: the president met with house speaker john boehner at the white house. their face-to-face meeting in three weeks. neither side would offer any details from the discussion, which may be a good sign of modest progress. but a spokesman for the republican leader said boehner did not back down. his offer to the white house
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last week is still the gop's position in the fiscal cliff talks. that plan offers a total of $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, including $800 billion in new tax revenue, but no increases on the top 2% of taxpayers. that's where the stalemate seems to be centered. president obama insists taxes on the wealthy must go up. >> but when they start making a million or 10 million or 20 million, you can afford to pay a little more. >> reporter: several republicans indicated that's a concession they're willing to make. >> will i accept a tax increase as a part of a deal to actually solve our problems? yes. >> reporter: if nothing is done by january 1, income taxes will go up on almost all americans. >> there are no meetings scheduled this week between the president and house speaker john boehner. rob and paula, back to you. the navy s.e.a.l. who died in that mission to rescue a kidnapped american doctor has been identified. nicholas checque was just 28
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years old, but for the much of the last decade he had been part of navy s.e.a.l. team 6. the decision to rescue dr. joseph came from the top commander. >> the race was on. they knew if they couldn't get him before he was taken to the pakistan that it would be almost impossible to rescue him. >> dr. joseph's family issued a statement last night, extending their deepest condolences and gratitude to all those involved in that mission. we reported earlier, abc news did, that he was part of that elite s.e.a.l. team 6, which was responsible for the killing of osama bin laden. we don't know if he was on that particular mission, but he was a part of that unit. >> and, obviously, it reminds us of the legendary work done by that team, but these guys are still human. no one is invincible. they do incredibly important but still dangerous work. and this guy, young guy too, lost his life for certainly a
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noble cause to rescue one of our own. it just underscores what a dangerous mission those guys sometimes have. not all the endings are as happy and as death free unfortunately. moving on to syria, where a defector from the ruling regime is confirming the absolute worst fears about the potential use of chemical weapons. this man says that before he defected, he was a top commander, second in charge in syria's chemical weapons program. he says syria has mustard gas with several toxic nerve agents and with rebels advancing, he says it's highly possible that president assad will order a chemical attack against his own people. tears and apologies are flowing from the two australian deejays who pulled off that prank phone call to kate middleton's hospital, followed by the apparent suicide of the nurse that took the call. deejays michael christian and
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mel greig say they are shattered and have been receiving death threats and demands that they both be fired. they are now both asking for forgiveness. >> i don't think that anyone could have expected or foreseen what was going to happen. >> not a minute goes by we don't think of the family and what they have been going through and the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut wrenching. >> an autopsy is set for today on the body of nurse jacintha saldanha. yesterday, her husband and children visited the hospital where she had worked. that does bring us to our facebook question of the morning. >> we want to know, should the australian deejays responsible for that royal hoax face criminal charges? let us know what you think. logon to our facebook page. wnnfans.com. in reading -- in just doing some investigating on this, the
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actual radio station said they tried to contact the hospital several times before airing the segment. the hospital said there were no calls. a spokesperson said nobody tried to handle our media inquiries. nobody spoke to anybody at hospital senior management. but this is just like one of many pranks, if you look at the station's history. >> they have a track record. >> some of them are brutal and ruthless. >> and some of them are distasteful. if you listen to the reporting, this prank was cleared not only by lawyers but by higher-ups. so the deejays are the most directly involved, but this goes further than just the two deejays. a lot of eyes looked at this before it aired. if you're going to pass around blame, it goes beyond the two deejays. but they made a valid point, no one could have anticipated this happening. that was not the intent. so it's just a difficult story. >> and they won't return to the airwaves until further notice. >> the show has been pulled. we expect to learn more
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about that medical mystery surrounding nelson mandela. the 94-year-old leader underwent more tests yesterday, but there's been no public comment why he's spent three days in the hospital. the south african surgeon general is scheduled to provide an update later this morning. pakistan has pledged $10 million to a girl's education fund named for the 15-year-old malala yousufzai, the school girl shot in the head by. the pakistani president made the announcement in paris in conjunction with the united nations cultural arm, a day after visiting her in the hospital, he said sending girls to school is the best way to combat extremism. >> and to keep her legacy alive. in other news this morning, a monster legal sentiment will be finalized involving hsbc. the bank is settling a case brought by u.s. government and also authorities here in new york hsbc will pay $1.9 billion to settle accusations it illegally transferred money on behalf of sanctioned nations, including
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iran and help mexican drug cartels launder monday. a florida woman has been found guilty of first degree murder for shooting a lottery winner in a plot to get his money. a jury in tampa convicted her of the 2009 murder of abraham shakespeare who had won $17 million. he was found buried in concrete in the backyard of her boyfriend. the judge called her cold, calculating, and cruel. we now know the identity of the second lucky winner of that record powerball jackpot. matthew goode had tried to remain anonymous in claiming his share of the $587 million prize. yeah, that didn't happen. it was only a matter of time before his name was discovered. he is originally from pennsylvania, but moved to phoenix area last year. he took a one-time payout of $192 million, telling officials
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he was worried about paying higher taxes next year because of the fiscal cliff and he's apparently going to stay at his job. >> even with that cliff, i think you'll be all right, dude. congratulations. coming up after the break, her death was a huge loss to the music world and fans throughout the world. we'll go live to los angeles to talk to our media consultant. about what jenni rivera meant to the hispanic community and the world of music. but first, an amazing breakthrough. how researchers are using hiv to help fight cancer. it's coming up on "world news now." "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellular. weather brought to you by consumer cellula cellular.
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a dramatic new direction in fighting cancer is now raising hopes of finding a way to eliminate the disease altogether. >> this is just unbelievable. doctors are using the virus that causes aids to reprogram patient's immune systems. chief medical editor dr. richard besser explains. >> reporter: emma's leukemia seemed undefeatable, no treatments left, and she was only 6. then in april, a last gamble using hiv to cure, not kill. doctors took out millions of emma's disease fighting white blood cells and used a
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genetically altered hiv virus to get into human immune systems to change those cells to target cancer fighters. they went back in and destroyed the cancer. dr. steven gruff is a pioneer. using hiv to infiltrate the immune system. >> all of the things that make the hiv virus to cause disease have been removed from this particular virus, so its only purpose is to put a gene into a cell. for me, it's incredibly exciting. >> reporter: here's emma, just eight months later. doctors can't find any remaining cancer cells. >> she is in complete remission. she has no leukemia in her body, by even the most sensitive tests. >> she has a ton of energy. she's doing wonderful right now. >> this treatment was a miracle. >> reporter: emma is counting the days until christmas. her parents are busy counting their blessings. the treatment does wipe out part of the immune system, so she has
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to receive medicine once a week, to prevent infection. but she's feeling strong and back in the second grade. dr. richard besser, abc news, new york. >> talk about the miracle of modern medicine. i can't think of no better example than that. it goes beyond blood cancers and used for prostate cancer and breast cancer, as well. a far reaching impact. >> and they're pledging $20 million for further research at the university -- penn university to bring the treatment to the market. but unbelievable. if you think of something as negative as hiv and they're using hiv to -- it's unbelievable that they would use that to -- >> you look at that little girl, $20 million, well spent. amazing. still ahead, fans of the late singer jenni rivera are in mourning as her family shares their emotions for the first time with the media. up next, we'll go to miami beach where rivera's death hit especially hard. you're watching "world news now." >> "world news now" continues after this, from our abc stations.
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latin superstar jenni rivera had millions of fans, and they're all now mourning the loss after she died in a plane crash on sunday. but her family, they are suffering the most. >> later today, they'll set out on a grim journey to mexico where her plane went down. they are holding on to the slimmest of hopes that they will find her alive. >> we thank god for the life he's given my sister, for all the triumphs and the successes she's had. we expect there will be more in the future. >> that was one of jenni's four brothers outside her family's home in long beach, california, where she was born. she has one sister and she was the mother of five and the grandmother of two. >> large family. so sad. and of course, she was a superstar of latin music. but she was about to cross over big-time into the main stream with songs in english and a network tv show right here in fact on abc.
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>> joining us now to talk about why fans loved her so much is our media consultant bruno. welcome back. what was so tragic about the timing of her death? >> the timing couldn't have been worse, paula. she was about to cross over into the major leagues by doing this sitcom with abc. abc announced it four days ago. so she was really poised to go to that next big level. unfortunately, we'll never know what could have been. >> and bruno, hearing the story break over the weekend, it is sadly reminiscent of selena and another talent, another life cut short. why was she such an important figure in latin music do you think? >> she was by far the latin female singer of the moment. she was a singer, songwriter, she had her own reality show, a coach on "the voice mexico." she had her own clothing line, perfume line, talk show and poised to do her own sitcom. so there wasn't anybody bigger in the latin music market,
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especially a female. and she really was one of these self-made american stories, dream come true, daughter of immigrants, who actually worked her tail off to become this humongously popular artist. so she embodied the american dream. >> and she was just delving right into american programming. she had three reality shows where she opened everybody up to her family, broke so many barriers. how broad was her involvement? >> oh, gosh, jenni was involved in every aspect of her career. she always said that she had this grand plan to become this very, very popular artist from early on in her career. and she actually managed to make it. we talk about selena 20 years ago passing away, people still
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talk about selena. yesterday one of the tweets i read, a star has died, a legend has been born today. so true about jenni. >> thank you, bruno, for joining us this morning. we appreciate that. fans around the world remembering jenni rivera, gone way too soon. >> we'll be right back. thank you, bruno, for joining us this morning. we appreciate that. fans around the world remembering jenni rivera, gone way too soon. >> we'll be right back. i love how clean my mouth is after a dental cleaning... i just wish i could keep it this way.
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daughter, vivian lake. but what's really got people talking is that the newborn was delivered not in a hospital, but in the comfort of the couple's boston home on wednesday. we feel so lucky to have been able to experience the miracle of birth once again, and are forever grateful for the opportunity to be the parents of another little angel. >> i grew up in a house of three sisters. so i think it's great for my boys to have a girl in the house, just to understand at least a little bit of what makes a woman tick. >> reporter: little vivian's birth wasn't the first at-home delivery. their son benjamin was born at home in the family's bathtub, something she describes as a natural experience in a documentary "business of being born." >> my job as a mom that i felt at that moment was to just breathe, relax, and allow my body and trust my body to do what it knows, what naturally knows what to do. >> reporter: while doctors say only about 1% of births happen at home, more and more couples are foregoing the hospital.
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in part due to celebrity influence. >> it looks like it's starting to be more popular. celebrity gisele, ricki lake, cindy crawford are making this more popular. >> at this moment, i thought i could conquer the world. i just felt so empowered and i felt so ready. you can throw anything at me and i can take it. just tell me what. >> reporter: still, doctors caution staying home isn't always the best option. >> people have to understand they're not celebrities, so they have to have a good backup system and a good plan if something goes wrong. >> reporter: abc news, new york. >> i know people who have tried this and got in a predicament where they ended up going to the hospital. but i think it's great. my sister had all of her kids naturally with no drugs. i wasn't so fortunate. both of my children got stuck. >> thanks for that.
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>> i was thinking about having it in the woman's bathroom here if i ever get pregnant again. natural experience. >> come on, now. this isn't the prom. that's the news for this half hour. follow us on facebook. we'll be back with more on abc, next.
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this morning on new "world news now," secrets from inside syria. a defector says the world has reason to fear chemical weapons there. >> we are getting chilling details of the deadly arsenal amassed by the assad regime. it is tuesday, december 11. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." good morning.
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i'm paula faris. >> and i'm rob nelson. in a moment, what that one-time insider from syria's chemical weapons program is saying now. if you weren't nervous about the situation before, after listening to this guy, plenty of reason for the world to be nervous what's going on inside syria. but also this half hour, the ultimate sacrifice. the member of the navy s.e.a.l. team 6 killed while freeing an american doctor from the taliban has been identified. we'll find out more about this fallen hero. tom hanks is standing up for heroes. how the hollywood star is helping an army staff sergeant who just returned from afghanistan. >> very cool story. it was a prank in the best sense of the word. and later, beyonce scores a $50 million deal. a sweet payday from a soft drink company. all the details coming up. >> keep reading. >> coming up in the -- whew, in "the skinny."
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little harsh on beyonce yesterday in "the skinny. ' we'll share some good beyonce news this morning. >> i don't think she's really worried. >> she's doing her thing. but first, some very telling words from those who left syria's regime. one defector is saying, the revolution will be victorious. >> another is confirming the worst fears about the regime's potential use of deadly chemical weapons. his words come amid some big rebel advances. >> reporter: the rebels have taken the fight to syria's biggest cities, battling assad's strong holds, his palace in damascus, while fighters have overrun one of the largest military bases outside the city of aleppo. american officials fear the likelihood of assad using chemical weapons is rising. they say they have proof they've been prepared. we went to meet a man who shares those fears. driving along a dark back
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country road near turkey's border with syria. he told us that until 2008, he was a chief of staff in the chemical weapons program. he said he worked on the defense side, in charge of preparing troops for dealing with attacks and safety equipment. what specific chemical weapons does the assad regime have? he said they have mustard gas, along with a highly toxic nerve agent, vx, sarin and tabun. the regime has started to fall and deteriorate, he argues. it's highly possible assad will start using chemical weapons to kill his own people. >> i think it's a last-ditch effort and one they don't want to use but are considering it. >> reporter: if the regime crumbles, the u.s. fears the weapons could be transferred to hezbollah or fall into groups like al qaeda. knowing what you do about the
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facilities, the security, do you worry that these weapons will fall into the wrong hands? yes, he said. there's an extremely big concern they'll fall into other hands. he said he was interviewed by the cia when he left syria. now he's pleading for money and weapons from the u.s. so he can lead a brigade of fighters back into syria to secure those sites. alex marquardt, abc news, on the turkey-syria border. >> the major general gave an interview back in september. so several weeks back and says during his time there, we were in a serious discussion about the use of chemical weapons, including how we would use them and in what areas. we discussed this as a last resort. such as if the regime lost control of important areas such as aleppo. so not that we have them, but details have been discussed. >> he's the second in charge. he says that assad's forces are already spraying pesticides and dropping white phosphorous. claims that were also made by the opposition.
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but the reason the whole world should be concerned about this is because if it gets into the wrong hands, these chemical weapons are so easily transportable. you're thinking hezbollah could get them in their hands and anybody that's friendly with syria at this point. so that is why -- >> again, if you're wondering why we should care, because the president said clearly use of chemical weapons is the red line and if assad acts on that, that could potentially draw our troops into the region. so something to keep a serious eye on. the navy s.e.a.l. killed in that raid to free an american doctor in afghanistan has been identified. nicolas checque had been a member of s.e.a.l. team 6 for the past five years. he died sunday after being shot in the head during the rescue mission. the former hostage, dilip
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joseph, will likely return to the u.s. by this weekend. is another day of washington watching and waiting to see if the two sides are any closer to a deal to head off huge tax increases and deep spending cuts at the start of next year. president obama and house speaker john boehner are keeping tight lipped about their closed door weekend talks. but in michigan monday, the president had a warning about going over this now infamous fiscal cliff. >> consumer spending is going to go down. that means you've got less customers. businesses get fewer profits. they hire fewer workers. you go in a downward spiral. >> speaker boehner says he's still waiting for the president to identify spending cuts that he's willing to make to help deal with the nation's debt crisis. thousands of demonstrators are expected to gather at the michigan state capital today in protest of a right-to-work measure. the legislation would bar unions from requiring non-union workers to pay those union fees. democrats met with the governor to urge a veto.
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and carollers gathered singing modified christmas songs in protest of the proposal. president obama said the legislation is about giving workers the right to work for less money. of course, the president enjoying a lot of support from the unions. if this does indeed happen, michigan will become the 24th right-to-work state. but governor rick schneider is backed by a full house and senate of republicans. so this could be easily passed. >> you're seeing a conservative movement to get a better handle on unions. and deal with them better. but the thing about michigan, it's considered to be the birthplace of the nation's modern labor movement. so if it happens there, it could happen in other states and put into motion a domino effect. we saw the wisconsin battle. ohio has dealt with these labor issues. so changing winds in the world of labor and michigan, if they go this way, that would be a big move here. some people argue it makes sense to give workers the right to choose if they want to be in the union, not just be obligated. some bravo now to a chicken restaurant manager in kansas
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city. edward turner was on duty when three would-be robbers came into his store sunday night. one pulled a gun and demanded some cash. turner grabbed the gun and the suspects beat a hasty retreat. turner said he's just glad the gun is off the streets and could not be used in another robbery attempt. brave manager there. severe weather, including a possible tornado, has damaged homes, mobile homes -- damaged dozens of mobile homes in central florida. the storm hit volusia county around dinnertime yesterday as tornado warnings popped up over the state. residents had what appeared to be a tornado touchdown for 30 seconds, ripped off roofs and smashed windows. >> could be more severe weather in central florida with wind gusts of 70 miles per hour. upstate new york and new england will start the day with rain, snow mix and seattle will see rain. >> temperatures in the upper midwest are rebounding from that extreme cold. minneapolis is warmer than usual at 36. denver is going to be near 60 after a weekend in the 20s. honolulu and miami are the only
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80s on our map. the only 80s. >> sounds nice. it's been a rough basketball season so far for the men of appalachian state university. they've won one game, lost seven. >> they beat michigan back in 2007, a game that will go down in infamy. so they have that. which is nice. but this might be the low point in sunday's loss to western carolina. look at what's being called the worst free throw ever. was that tipped? >> a little short there. look at that again. there it goes. wait for it, wait for it again. now, to his credit, he's hit 2 of his 5 foul shots so far this season. but that is truly, truly horrible. >> looks like the saints. >> oh, willis, won't let it go.
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>> the saints would get it near the rim, just not make it. >> especially since their quarterback is from new orleans. just saying. >> giants! >> i love his subtlety. >> and so soft. >> he's a gentle soul. >> willis would make that free throw, probably. >> no doubt! >> granny style. >> exactly. >> heave-ho. okay. coming up, a soldier's surprise of a different story. how a well-known actor surprised a vet to help him achieve his dreams. but first, lebanon levy is the newest tough guy in town. this story is wild. inside the "amish mafia." yeah, amish mafia. you're watching "world news now."
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♪ ♪ i woke up this morning, got myself a gun ♪ man, i m man, i miss that show. one of my favorites. >> you wouldn't think that tony sparano had much in common with an amish farmer, but a reality tv show claims they're not so different after all. >> "amish mafia" follows a group
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of men who impose law and order on an amish community in lancaster, pennsylvania. yeah, i just said that. abc's linsey davis has the story. >> reporter: one of the already secret amish communities most tightly kept secrets is about to be exposed in the latest reality show series "amish mafia." >> i make sure the peace is being kept and everybody is obeying the rules. >> reporter: lebanon levi leads a powerful team of men that are part law and order, part sopranos, charged with resolving disputes, dishing out justice. >> are you here to arrest me or do something about it? >> reporter: and enforcing the laws of lancaster, pennsylvania's amish community, which had been best known for its quaint lifestyle, hand made goods and its rejection of modern luxuries such as cars and electricity, until now. >> here's the computer and ipads for games. >> reporter: there's already an appetite for viewers for drunk party kids and self-proclaimed rednecks. now networks are banking on the
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amish to be the next big thing for reality tv. >> reality television and the amish is a match made in heaven. >> reporter: national geographic's "amish out of order" and tlc's "breaking amish" have also focused on the wilder side of amish life. >> it is a controversial concept. and reality feeds on controversy. it's outrageous. it's mysterious. it's unexpected. >> reporter: the network's website acknowledges most of the show is re-enactments, but according to levi, all the stories are the god's honest truth. linsey davis, abc news, new york. >> hope you caught that last word re-enactment. so you're not actually watching it. but they insist the stories are true. but you're not actually watching it unfold. >> it's reality, it's rob's
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reality with lebanon levi in your household, isn't it? >> that's what i'm talking about. now we're talking. >> who are you paying for a hit? who are you taking out? >> taking out willis, clearly. he's talking trash about the giants/saints game. >> i would just like an italian sausage, please. did you see the sign? i'm hungry. when we -- when we come back, he's back in "the skinny." >> coming up on "world news now." "world news now" continues after this from our abc
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♪ skinny, so skinny stations. willis is back. can you tell? here we go. >> no. >> apparently, according to "the new york post," demi moore has been dumped by her 26-year-old boyfriend. whose name we just love to say. apparently vito has had enough -- he said peace out. we saw those pictures last week of her partying in miami. and apparently he's -- it was a distraction and he's a business guy, got his art galleries going on. he's like enough of this and let her go. according to radar, even her daughters are worried about her behavior. keep in mind, back in february she checked into rehab, she was back in the hospital.
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she's had a rough 2012, so maybe this wasn't the best time to get into a relationship. so he said, sayonara to demi moore. >> i'm sad i can't say that name any more. >> it's a loss here at "the skinny." >> it is a verb. anyway, so beyonce, she rules the world, like all of us women do. according to her song, who runs the world? girls. she just scored a $50 million endorsement deal from pepsi, and she's going to have her pretty little face on a can. a can of pepsi. a can of the drink. come on, do you always have to objectify women? >> no, just her. >> she's not necessarily going to be in pepsi commercials. pepsi said in lieu of traditional advertising
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campaigns, they're going to back her in any creative project of her choosing. she can have any number of multiple outlets to tap into. she's looking forward to it and i know you can't wait to buy her can. >> $50 million. >> you can't wait to put your lips on a can of pepsi. >> that's 50 million bucks for a face on a can. are you going to buy that can of pepsi, willis? >> all right. steven colbert back in the news. there's a senate vacancy in south carolina. according to a poll by public policy polling, colbert is at the top of the wish list for possible senate replacements for mr. demint who announced he's stepping down. he has 20% of the vote so far. the governor, nikki haley, has said look, you're not going to be the one. but it's got to be encouraging for him to have so many poll numbers in his favor.
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it's not going to happen, but it's fun to talk about. so congrats, steven. >> last night i went with a girlfriend to go see richard marks to a quaint little winery in new york city. sunday night i should say. had a great time. richard marks is there. i swear we knew every song. after the show, he's like, did you know hugh jackman was sitting behind you? you know hugh jackman. i love him. i stalked him. just like you stalked alicia keys. i said i'm a member of the news organization, but i've got to get my pic. and there it is. >> and now there's a restraining order. [ mother bear ] you're not using too much are you, hon?
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[ coughs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. vicks nyquil -- powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ tens of thousands of service men and women will be coming home from afghanistan as the war winds down and will deserve a chance to work at what they love. >> this is why this is our favorite story of the day, because a network of mentors is stepping up to help them, sometimes even beyond their wildest dreams. abc's bob woodruff has the
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story. >> reporter: 32-year-old gabriel posey, a staff sergeant in the army, just returned from the sands of afghanistan. but now here, in los angeles, he's about to get a huge surprise. what he knows is that he's been matched up with a mentor to help him get a start in the field he's dreamed about much of his life, screen writing. what he doesn't know is that his mentor is one of the biggest names in hollywood. >> your brothers were killed in combat. >> this is one of the great things about people in the military, they're good at solving problems. those people are worth their weight in precious metals. >> what will be the number one thing you'll tell him about getting into the film industry? >> okay. you have got to say i know who i am, i know what my skills are, and i'm in this for the long haul. perseverance.
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it all comes down to that. >> reporter: i told gabriel his mentor wasn't well known. just someone with connections. i lied. i'm going to show you who this is. i think you'll be very happy. >> oh! wow! no way. i love tom hanks. >> gabriel, how are you? what a pleasure. >> an honor. >> but you've got to call me tom. >> reporter: so with a pot of tea, the sergeant got the chance to learn from this writer, actor, producer, and more. >> have you ever tasted failure while working and how did you deal with it? >> oh, yeah. you as a writer are going to write things that no one is going to get or understand. and you cannot let that get in your way. >> reporter: now he's making plans to move to hollywood to stay in touch with his mentor, and hopefully to fulfill his life-long dream. bob woodruff, abc news, los angeles. >> i'm in the right place, tell you that much. >> you're in a very good place, my friend. tom hanks with the reputation as one of the world's nicest guys. despite his incredible fame and talent. >> talk about great connections,
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too. >> are you kidding me? one of the best of the best on the a-list. so congratulations to him. >> almost as close as having rob nelson as your mentor. >> real close. i'm going to take out the trash. this is abc's "world news now," informing insomniacs for two decades. now," informing insomniacs for
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endorsed by aarp. don't wait. call now. this morning, digging out and cleaning up. >> millions across the midwest, waking up to a whiteout, smacked by one of the biggest december snowmakers ever. meanwhile, in the south, tornado damage stretches from louisiana to florida. and the threat is not over just yet. american hero. the navy s.e.a.l. from smalltown america, paying with his life to rescue a doctor in afghanistan. cancer killer.